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CONTEST: Write Your Clean Water Letter to the Editor

National Wildlife Federation and River Network

Write a 250-word Letter to the Editor Telling Why Your Favorite Wetland or Small Stream Deserves Protection under the Clean Water Act.

As many of you know, two Supreme Court decisions and bad policies from the Bush Administration have thrown the issue of Clean Water Act protections for certain creeks and wetlands into question. The Obama Administration is poised to release a guidance that attempts to answer that very critical question—which waterbodies are protected under the Clean Water Act—any day now.

We need your help to urge the Administration to release that guidance now, and to make the protections for our waters as strong as possible. The Administration needs to hear from us in the press—and letters to the editor are a great way to make ourselves heard. River Network is partnering with the great folks at the National Wildlife Federation to encourage you to speak up in your local newspapers.

Use the sample letter to the editor below (or your own ideas) and the provided state-specific information (found in this document and on NWF's handy website) to craft your own creative letter to the editor on the issue. Submit your letter to your local or state paper for publication. If you also want to enter the contest for best letter to the editor, send the text of your letter in an email to goldmancarterj@nwf.org and sorvalisg@nwf.org before 1 p.m. pacific on Sunday, May 6.

Sample Letter to the Editor

(Add information from the attached document within the brackets below, or write your own letter using the attached data or your own stories.)

[Start with a wetland/stream story: For example, I cherish fishing and exploring along the (LOCAL WATER BODY), etc.…. As an avid angler/kayaker/birdwatcher, I understand how important these little streams are to the health of the (LOCAL River, Lake, Bay) downstream…. ]

[State/watershed specific figures re the importance of wetlands and/or intermittently flowing streams: For example: Over [XX %] of [State]’s stream miles do not flow year round, yet they provide critical drinking water supply, flood storage, and fish and wildlife habitat in the (LOCAL WATER) watershed.

In addition, these small streams/wetlands support a strong outdoor recreation economy. In 2006, XX million people participated in wildlife-related recreation in [State], spending [$X] billion annually.]

Sadly, for the last decade, Clean Water Act protections for these streams and wetlands have been eroding, leaving our prized fishing, swimming, and boating waters, and our drinking water at risk.

Thankfully, as the Clean Water Act turns 40 this year, this Administration is taking steps to restore Clean Water Act protections for these vital streams and wetlands. I wholeheartedly support this Administration’s actions to restore long-standing protections for millions of wetland acres and stream miles nationwide, and to help ensure clean and healthy waters for all Americans. The Administration is poised to take action to clarify the need to protect our waters under the Clean Water Act, and I encourage them to move quickly for clean, safe water.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

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TIPS for submitting a letter to the editor (LTE)
• Keep your letter under 250 words
• Submit your letter to one newspaper at a time, they like to have exclusive rights to it.
• Make it original and localized. Editors won’t like a cut and paste.
• Give your full contact information as they will probably follow up to confirm you are in fact are the author
• Localize as much as you can by mentioning a local story, special place, loved one who benefits etc

Contest prizes
Winners will be announced via web and social media outlets during River Rally on Monday, May 7, 2012.  River Rally is taking place at the Doubletree Lloyd Center, 1000 NE Multnomah, Portland, OR 97232.

First Prize: $100
Second Prize: Cozy National Wildlife Federation Fleece Jacket
Third Prize: Fabulous “I love River Rally” water bottle

Basic contest rules
For full rules, please see the contest flyer

Contest Rules and Details:
• Only one submission per person.
• Letter must be 250 words or less.
• By entering the contest, you are affirming your commitment to submit your LTE to your local paper with-in two weeks after River Rally.
• Letters must be delivered (hand delivered or emailed) to George Sorvalis sorvalisg@nwf.org before 1 p.m. Pacific Time, Sunday May 6, 2012. No other method of entry will be accepted.
• A winner will be chosen by a committee consisting of staff from River Network, National Wildlife Federation and Water Protection Network (“the Companies”).
• Winners will be announced via web and social media outlets during River Rally on Monday, May 7, 2012. River Rally is taking place at the Doubletree Lloyd Center, 1000 NE Multnomah, Portland, OR 97232.

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Additional Rules:

ELIGIBILITY: OFFERED ONLY TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES (“U.S.”) VOID IN PUERTO RICO AND WHERE PROHIBITED. Employees, officers and directors of the Companies and the immediate family members (spouses and parents, children and siblings and their spouses, regardless of where they live) or members of the same households (whether related or not) of such employees, officers and directors are not eligible. The Companies reserve the right to verify, in their sole judgment, winner eligibility. This Contest is governed by the laws of the United States. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. By entering you agree to these Official Rules and the decisions of the Companies, which are final and binding in all respects.

The Companies assume no responsibility for lost, late, misdirected, illegible or mutilated entries or for any computer, online, telephone, cable, network, electronic or Internet hardware or software malfunctions, failures, connections, availability, garbled or jumbled transmissions, service provider, Internet, web site, or other accessibility or availability issues, traffic congestion, or unauthorized human intervention, or any technical malfunctions that may occur. Entrants shall be the authorized account holder of the email address submitted at the time of entry. “Authorized account holder” is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider, or other organization (e.g., business, educational institution, etc.) that is responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain name associated with the submitted email address.

DEADLINE:  The final date for submitting the writing is Sunday, May 6, 2012 at 1 p.m. Pacific Time.

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